There was no hesitation from Chad Mendes when the UFC came calling a few weeks back.
Given a third chance to claim gold inside the Octagon, Mendes gladly accepted a short notice fight for the interim featherweight title at UFC 189 Saturday night vs. Conor McGregor.
And for the third time in as many tries, “Money” was denied, falling via second round TKO.
Mendes (17-3) scored with several takedowns against McGregor, but after attempting a submission late in the second round, he was caught against the fence. McGregor landed with a left, following up and earning the win.
Both of his previous two title fights came vs. Jose Aldo, who was injured and knocked out of the main event.
“Thank you to Conor for accepting the fight on two weeks,” said Mendes, who embraced the new champion after despite the two have several heated exchanges. “He can back up the talk.”
Mendes was also complimentary of all the Irish support that descended on Las Vegas for the contest. Despite being located just a few hours away in Sacramento, Mendes was booed heavily by the pro-Irish crowd.
“These Irish fans are crazy,” he said. “I love it. I wish we had so much support like this. It was unbelievable seeing you guys support your athletes so much.
“This was the biggest fight in UFC history and I am glad I got to be part of it. I’ll never forget it.”